Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

Summer Challenge Week Five: Summer Celebrations

It's week five of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge, and that means Summer Celebrations! There are so many things to celebrate in the summer: the Fourth of July, summer birthdays, vacations, no school. Why not celebrate with some books about celebrations and some celebrating of your own? Maybe there's a summer birthday in your family. Celebrating the 4th of July? Add some reading to the festivities. Or maybe you just want an excuse to party! Whatever your reason to celebrate, we hope this week's theme gets you reading and partying with the people you love.

Ideas for books to read:

  • Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. This is a lovely book that celebrates not only American independence, but also the diversity of America and Americans.
  • Chimpanzees for Tea by Jo Empson. A clever and fun read aloud. Why not read this and have a summer tea party?
  • The Piñata that the Farm Maiden Hung by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Sebastia Serra. A fun step-and-repeat story that blends Spanish language into the text. Whatever you're celebrating, add a piñata to the festivities!
Ideas for things to discuss:
  • What are some of your ways to celebrate?
  • Do you have a favorite summer holiday?
  • What ways do you see other cultures influencing American celebrations?
  • Have you ever had a tea party? 
  • If you could invite anyone in the world to your party, who would it be?
  • What are some reasons to celebrate that are NOT birthdays or holidays?
Ideas for things to do:
  • Choose a holiday to celebrate (even if the date is past). For lesser known holidays, check out National Day Calendar and pick one to celebrate. For example, July 5th is National Graham Cracker day (are you thinking...s'mores?). 
  • Host a summer tea party. Serve refreshing treats, lemonade, and iced tea.
  • Invite neighbors over for a backyard barbecue.
  • Have a picnic in the park (bring a piñata just because).
  • Celebrating the 4th of July? Go to a fireworks show or light up some sparklers at home.
  • Host an ice cream social. Serve vanilla and chocolate ice cream and provide lots of toppings for people to make their own sundaes.
What are you favorite ways to celebrate during the summer? Let us know in the comments and/or share on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.


Mindy Baker said…
Great theme and post! I love the books you recommend!
Rebecca Gomez said…
Mindy, I'd love to know your recommendations for celebratory books!